Q&A with The Lunch Belle
At DishEnvy, our goal is to help you find something great to eat every time you go out. We know one of the best ways to do that is to find people whose recommendations you can trust. So we are beginning a feature where we interview top food bloggers to learn about some of their favorite dishes.
This week we chatted with Lindsay Feinberg aka The Lunch Belle, a native Texan and therefore by default TexMex specialist, who blogs at TheLunchBelle.com. She also hosts the NY Mexican Food Lovers Meetup, the Mexican Supper Club and Mexican-centric walking tours in New York. You can follow Lindsay’s reviews on DishEnvy at TheLunchBelle.
What inspired you to start The Lunch Belle?
I was inspired to start The Lunch Belle, first and foremost, because I am a very opinionated “foodie.” Aside from that, I can’t tell you how many folks would ask me for restaurant/venue advice (such as where to go on a first date, etc.), and I found myself constructing one too many identical email responses. Now, I just send them to my site! But it wasn’t until I began managing the daily catered lunch program at the hedge fund where I used to work, that I really felt propelled to start the website. Why? Because I worked with an equal number of amazing and heinous restaurants and felt that I needed a platform in which to “scream from a mountaintop” about my experiences. Both positive and negative.
Your specialty is Tex Mex and you seem to have hit all the spots in town. What are your favorite dishes you’ve had in New York?
To me, Mexican food is comforting and evokes fond memories of childhood – Texas – and learning how to cook. While there isn’t anything quite like El Paso, Texas, some of my favorite Mexican/Tex-Mex dishes in NYC include:
- Pork Gordita @ “La Poblanita” Cart *only on weekends*
- Pork Carnitas “Cemita” Sandwich @ Café Ollin
- Crispy Shredded-Beef tacos @ Florencia 13
- Chips & Salsa @ Florencia 13
- Mexican Rice @ Great Burrito
- Guacamole @ Barrio Chino
- Salted Cajeta Ice Cream Sundae @ Goat Town
What about elsewhere?
Some of my favorite restaurants outside of my beloved NYC include:
- Juanita’s Taco Shop – Encinitas, CA
- Din Tai Fung – Hong Kong
- A La Petite Chaise – Paris
- Chope’s – La Mesa, NM
- The Meeting House – Amagansett, NY
- Mia’s – Dallas, TX
- Joe T. Garcia’s – Fort Worth, TX
- Chico’s Tacos – El Paso, TX
- The Little Diner – Canutillo, TX
- The County Line – Austin, TX
What can people expect on your Tex Mex walking tours?
From my walking tours, the idea of starting a Mexican food “club” popped in to my head. And, shortly thereafter, the NY Mexican Food Lovers Meetup Group was born! There are approximately 50 members, all of whom share one common love/passion: Mexican food. Once a month, we meet up for brunch at a Mexican restaurant in any one of the 5-boroughs. Past venues have been: El Paso Taqueria, Café Ollin, Florencia 13, and Mesa Coyoacan. Check out the group’s page: http://www.meetup.com/Manzana/.
I know you eat a lot of other great food too – what are some of your non-Mexican favorites in New York?
The best meal that I’ve had in NYC, to date, is the “Bo Ssam” at Momofuku Ssam Bar. Now there’s an experience that will change your life! Also:
- Everything @ BLT Fish
- Everything @ Blue Hill at Stone Barns
- Cake Truffles, Candy Bar Pie @ Momofuku Milk Bar
- Potato Latkes, Pastrami @ Kutsher’s Tribeca
- Everything @ Rubirosa
- Green Chile Macaroni & Cheese @ Good
- Hummus @ Omar’s Kitchen & Bakery
- Everything @ Momoya Chelsea
- Pork Dumplings in Chili Oil @ Café China
- Lobster Roll @ Luke’s Lobster
Do you have any hidden gems you wouldn’t mind divulging to our readers?
Yes! Two of my favorites are: Good and Bridge Café.